GS1 barcoding is beginning to and will continue to assist in the transformation of the NHS.
I am aware that this is a bold statement to open with but it is a subject that needs to be addressed by all healthcare suppliers across the country.
GS1 barcoding set standards by using unique numbers that are used in barcodes, RFID tags and product data management.
GS1 aims to improve efficiencies for supply chains whether big or small and in particular strive to improve the delivery of care across the NHS. The realisation of GS1 is huge, with the ability for any healthcare supply chain to adopt its standards.
As quoted by Pat Mills, the commercial director of the Department of Health:
“The whole GS1 rollout is the world we need to get our health service into.”
The benefits of GS1 for the NHS are monumental including:
- Standardisation of barcoding procedures across the country
- Improved healthcare equipment tracking
- Enhanced patient care and safety
- Improved patient experience
- Significant savings
- Improved inventory visibility
- Reduced errors
The question is if you are a supplier to the NHS must you have GS1 barcoding in place?
The answer to this is yes. To comply with the recent eProcurement strategy NHS trusts are required to develop and implement an approved GS1 adoption plan, which includes the equipment provided to them by all suppliers.
As stated by Glen Hodgson, Head of Healthcare, GS1 UK ‘We’re proud to be working with the Department of Health, NHS Trusts and their suppliers to make sure they fulfill their role in implementing GS1 standards.’
Refer to this website to read more about GS1 standards and the NHS:
So remember if any new tenders are coming your way GS1 is something that needs to be considered, get such procedures rolled out across your organisation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment by missing out on sales in the future.